More than 13,000 vehicles use Middleton Road daily, either as a shortcut to and from the Avon Commons shopping center or to reach homes in the Avenbury Lakes neighborhood.
This is creating traffic issues for everyone who uses Middleton.
The solution? The city is looking to buy about three-fourths of an acre on the northwest corner of Middleton and Jaycox roads to add turn lanes and is considering extending Middletown more than a half mile between Jaycox and Nagel to make it a through street. Middleton now is a stub street near Meijer.
City Council reviewed legislation Feb. 10 that would authorize the city to spend up to $70,000 to buy the property at MIddleton and Jaycox from Samar Odeh and Imad Zuraiki, which would give the city the needed 80-foot right of way for turn lanes on Middleton at Jaycox. Council held the second of three discussions on Monday about the road.
The city also is considering acquiring vacant land to extend Middleton about 3,000 feet, linking the road between Jaycox to Nagel, which is at least two years away, Avon City Engineer Ryan Cummins said.
In the fall, the city hired TRC Engineering of Cleveland $11,638 to conduct a 24-hour traffic study at Middleton and Jaycox. While traveling east on Middleton, the traffic engineers found it increasingly challenging to turn north or south onto Jaycox from the stop sign. The study revealed 13,385 cars on average came across Middleton at Jaycox during a 24-hour period on a weekday, Cummins said.
A temporary traffic signal was installed at the intersection last month.
Although there have been no further studies to take future traffic into account, adding a permanent traffic signal at the intersection is a possibility, and so is a roundabout, Cummins said.
“Those are hypothetical things, but it’s all a possibility,” he said. “Middleton Road had a stop sign at Jaycox, but Jaycox did not. The traffic just kept coming and the people were having trouble getting out.”
Avon Law Director John Gasior said it was important for the city to be proactive and acquire the land as Middleton eventually will be a through street.
Two longtime Avenbury Lakes residents spoke in favor of the purchase during the Feb. 10 meeting.
“With all that traffic, it’s a hazard,” said Larry Escalante, who has lived on Nottingham Parkway since 2002. “Chester Road pulls people from all over. Jaycox is turning into the main north-south artery between Chester and Detroit. With all the people driving across Middleton, it’s hard to cross the street.”
Frank Caruso, who has lived on Penbrooke Lane off Middleton since 2005, said residents have wondered for years about what could happen with Middleton.
“We have a high interest in how Middleton Road is going to be handled in the future,” Caruso said. “Without a turn lane, it’s hard to get out onto Jaycox.”
Avenbury Lakes is a neighborhood for residents 55 and older north of Detroit Road. It contains 353 homes where about 600 residents live.
Councilman Dennis McBride, who represents the Avenbury Lakes area, called getting the property a smart move.
“A lot of people never foresaw the growth in that area or the amount of traffic it would cause,” he said.
The city would have to upgrade a drainage ditch and relocate a water line, Cummins said.
Cummins also said he is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because there are some wetlands on the vacant land close to where Middleton would be extended.
Meijer, which opened at Nagel and Middletown last June, paid for the construction of a small stretch of Middleton west of Nagel Road. Levin Furniture paid for the construction of a small stretch of Middleton east of Nagel.
City Council held a second reading on the legislation to buy the property at its meeting Monday night. A third reading and a vote to approve it would be needed at the following council meeting for the legislation to pass.
Mayor Bryan Jensen said it’s important for the city to purchase the land now to avoid going through the easement processes in the future.
“We don’t want to do anything twice anymore,” Jensen said. “We’d like to own the property now. Let’s not waste an opportunity to get that property so we could be able to take the road all the way through.”
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